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12 awesome features of Japanese bathrooms you won’t find in the West

79 Comments
By Cara Clegg, RocketNews24

Japanese bathrooms, or "ofuroba," are very different to bathrooms in the West, and in this day and age they also come with a whole host of cool tech. Let’s take a look at a typical modern Japanese bathroom and let the cute little Aika take you through all its awesome characteristics in this fun and informative video.

Aiko is a Canadian-Japanese girl who lived her first seven years in Canada and the past two in Japan, and she uploads videos about everyday life in Japan to her YouTube channel. Check it out below.

Japanese bathing culture is quite different, especially when it comes to onsen and the practice of all bathing together in the nude as a social experience. And now, with modern technological innovations, even bath time at home can be a magical experience. We highly recommend you watch the video, but here’s a summary of the 12 points included.

1. Three people can be using the different facilities at the same time

Both the sink, toilet, and bath are in separate rooms. The sink is usually in a small changing area connected to the bathroom that also has the washing machine, while the toilet is completely separate.

2. There’s a spray wand in sink

This can be useful for washing pets and small children.

3. You sit down to wash yourself before getting into the bath

Before getting into the bath, you should wash yourself thoroughly. Bathroom accessories include a small stool to sit on as you wash and a bucket with a handle to pour water all over yourself.

4. You can get everything wet

Japanese bathrooms are usually wet-rooms, so you can spray the water everywhere with careless abandon.

5. You keep the bath water clean

Except for (occasionally) fancy bath salts and powder, the bath water should be kept clean, so no washing your hair or lathering up in there.

6. The water stays hot

Modern Japanese bathrooms are serious technological wonders. The control panel will have buttons for keeping the bath water at a consistent temperature, as well as a multitude of other functions.

7. & 8. Call for help/Call for service

Other features of the panels can include an emergency button to call for help or a call button so that you can get your long-suffering parent or spouse to bring you a nice glass of tea while you relax.

9. You can control the bath from the kitchen

There will often be a corresponding control panel in the kitchen from which you can control the water temperature and set the bath to fill automatically. You don’t need to keep running back and forth to check that the bath hasn’t overflowed; it’ll stop when it’s done and play a tune to let you know.

10. Sharing the bath

Family members will all share the same bath water as the bathtub is used for relaxing, not cleansing.

11. You can reuse the water for laundry

Many Japanese washing machines come with a pump which you can stick into the bath when you’re done to suck up the water and reuse it for washing your clothes. This is especially useful because washing machines often only use cold water, and this way you can wash your laundry with warm water.

12. You can also dry your clothes

Modern, hi-tech bathrooms will have different fan settings which include cold and hot air, so your clothes will dry really quickly if you hang them up in the bathroom and put the fan on.

All of these points can come as a surprise to foreigners staying in a Japanese home for the first time, but you quickly get used to them and find yourself wondering how other people back home can live without the convenience and comfort of a Japanese bathroom.

Source: YouTube (Life Where I’m From)

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 10 things that surprise foreign women in Japan -- Japan’s awesome, eco-friendly, old-school water heaters (and how to use them) -- Why your cat hates baths, but is fascinated by the bathtub

© Japan Today

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79 Comments
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Hope she posts a video on the handicap toilets too. They are awesome.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, it's really good to have the toilet and washing areas separate. If fact, where both are combined airborne fecal matter has been shown to accumulate on your toothbrush.

6 . The water stays hot

Modern Japanese bathrooms are serious technological wonders. The control panel will have buttons for keeping the bath water at a consistent temperature.

But the way this is achieved is just by continuously replacing the old water with new hot water, it's actually a massive waste of water if you are just letting it sit there. I've met a few Japanese people who mistakenly believe the bathtub is somehow re-heating the existing water.

-17 ( +3 / -19 )

Oh, not again. More disingenuous 'Isn't Japan unique' nonsense.

About half of the things on the list are in my mother's bathroom and lavatory in the UK. She also has a washlet loo, just in case anyone brings up that old chestnut too.

15 ( +28 / -12 )

About half of the things on the list are in my mother's bathroom and lavatory in the UK. She also has a washlet loo, just in case anyone brings up that old chestnut too.

I think washlets are becoming more common all of the place. 10 years ago, you could say it's a unique thing in Japan, but not anymore. The same thing goes for a spray wand. In the States many homes now have a sink wand. However, I do like that you can control the bath from the kitchen, that is a cool feature

3 ( +5 / -2 )

These are all thing I have never seen, and they are all neat and make a lot of sense. Especially having the toilet in a separate room - you could soak in the tub without someone having to come in to go!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Both the sink, toilet, and bath are in separate rooms

Unless it's a tiny 1R apartment, then they're all in a room the size of a phone booth.

BTW, how can one use the word "both" in a sentence listing three things?

6 ( +10 / -2 )

I've met a few Japanese people who mistakenly believe the bathtub is somehow re-heating the existing water.

Many of them do re-heat the water, mine does. A gas-fired heater outside takes the water from an outlet near the bottom of the tub, heats it and then pumps it in near the top.

14 ( +13 / -0 )

Point number 1 is forest for the trees. Canadian homes have 2, 3 or 4 bathrooms. Around one bathroom per bedroom. Japanese homes have a grand total of.....one.

Give me a private facility any day for my morning constitutional. The Canadian ones I use have heat lamps and skylights. And on top of that, the Japanese "unit bath," with all the comfort of an airliner cubicle, is ridiculous. Canada wins hands down.

-12 ( +8 / -19 )

But the way this is achieved is just by continuously replacing the old water with new hot water, it's actually a massive waste of water if you are just letting it sit there. I've met a few Japanese people who mistakenly believe the bathtub is somehow re-heating the existing water.

Not true. Many Japanese homes use tankless water heaters, and the "unit baths" have a setting that routes the bath water through the Hester and back to the tub.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I've met a few Japanese people who mistakenly believe the bathtub is somehow re-heating the existing water.

It is re-heating to the temperature you set. The amount of water in the tub is also maintained at the level you had set. It would be difficult to maintain the same temperature and amount of water by replacing the water.

3 ( +8 / -6 )

Canadian homes have 2, 3 or 4 bathrooms.

All of them?

Japanese homes have a grand total of.....one.

I have two in a 3 bedroomed hoiuse.

A little too much generalisation there Jeff I think.

10 ( +12 / -4 )

@Harry & Tina

Thanks, I had a quick look on the internet and I guess there are actually a few different systems and what you're describing does exist. I live in a new high-rise building where we don't have gas (just IH) and my bathtub certainly doesn't recycle the same water. I've tested this along with two of my neighbours where we put coloured bath salts in and watched the colour completely fade as it 'reheats'. I guess you might live in a house?

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

Harry - G - No mistake in my bathroom. The same water is reheated to your desired temp promptly.

As Tina said water level and temperature are maintained. Of course I have to pay for the extra gas required for such a "luxury", but in winter my family can have a long bath, each enjoying a constant "hot" soak. It's great.

But what I particularly like about these bathrooms is as mentioned , they are self contained, fairly spacious,(in my case)wet areas, which means no need to worry about splashing walls, floors & ceilings.

The shower cubicle in my parents house in oz just doesn't cut it for me now.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

Canada wins hands down.

The housing standard in the west is much better than in Japan. One reason is Japan's limited space, another is the Japanese people are not particularly wanting to live in luxury,

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

  1. You can reuse the water for laundry

This is one of the most disgusting thing about Japan. Do Japanese people think they don't sweat? You are washing your clothes in sweaty oilly water, it is certainly not clean and why I suspect some people stink on the morning train as they clothes smell like sweat socks.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

12 awesome features of Japanese bathrooms you won’t find in the West

Many of these are not features. And further, many are not common even here.

We had the water heater installed at my house after moving in. It runs on kerosene and is very efficient and cheap to operate. They wanted to install the temperature control panel in the kitchen. I said no and had them put it by the shower door. Why? Cause if the water is too hot or too cold while taking a shower, you don't want to be going back and forth to the kitchen to adjust it!

The best part about temperature control is that no one gets burned, especially children. The water never comes out scalding unless somebody set it to. And mixing scalding water with cold to get usable warm water has got to be one of the stupidest, most inefficient procedures known to man, not to mention being a complete pain in the butt and waste of time to accomplish. Glad to see the back side of that foolishness. Now the water always comes out at a reasonable, if not perfect temperature, and its so much more efficient for not heating water only to cool it again.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I wouldn't be surprised if there are people who don't want to waste bathwater, but still I don't believe they use bathwater for rinsing, maybe only with detergent, otherwise it does not make sense.

why I suspect some people stink on the morning train as they clothes smell like sweat socks.

I don't think it is because of bathwater.

6 ( +7 / -2 )

My bath reheats the same water. Computer does it. Same fragrance added in is still there three days later.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

11 really is gross, good idea but bad baked except you semi recycle that water it's ok!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Watching American house-hunting shows, I'm always surprised when people show dislike for having the toilet separate from the rest of the bathroom ("That's just weird," "That makes no sense!" are some comments I've heard). Most of them have probably never heard the word "water closet," from the days when this was standard.

As for washing clothes with bath water, most people use detergent (duh), and do not use bath water for the rinse cycle, which uses fresh cold water. I really don't think it's an issue.

10 ( +12 / -3 )

A few points from the comments. Our three bedroom house also has two bathrooms.

Regarding the usage of bath water as laundry water, it's not gross at all. A couple articles of clothing are going to have more dirtiness to them than the bath water. That's why you use soap, and that's why washers have rinse cycles. The idea that people stink because of this is ridiculous.

And finally, I don't know about all baths, but in all the places I've lived, the temperature is maintained by pumping new water into the tub, not by reheating the water in the tub.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

yes japan may have a few more features but nearly every home im lived in before Japan has had two bathrooms, neve seen that in Japan, no need to wait for the shower when somebody else is using it in the morning when your in a hurry. and having the whole bathroom get wet just make much more space to clean for mold. the last house i lived in had a shower that was nearly as big as my whole bathroom in japan, it also had two shower heads/hoses so two people can shower together. while japan may have a fw more gadgets newer western bathrooms are much more convenient.

-5 ( +2 / -6 )

Jeff: My Canadian home only had 1 bathroom for its 4 bedrooms and was small. I had to wait long stretches of time for family members to finish their bath to pee or wait for our water heater tank to have enough for a shower after someone took a bath. I hated it and love my Japanese bathroom.

As for using bath water for the laundry, it's only on the cycles that add soap. On my washing machine you can even choose to only use it for the first time the washing machine is filled with water and the second and final cycle will be fresh water. The final rinse cycle is always fresh water.

3 ( +5 / -3 )

Wonder how many Europeans posted here? Like people that live in apartments.

Reusing bath water for washing machine us a good idea as mentioned above Japanese wash themselves BEFORE entering the tub so no sweat, soap, etc in the water.

Granted back home the WC/Toilet is separate but the bathrooms aren't all that much bigger and shower and bath are the same. As for multiple bathrooms very few IME.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

And finally, I don't know about all baths, but in all the places I've lived, the temperature is maintained by pumping new water into the tub, not by reheating the water in the tub.

@Strangerland In my case, I never heard of a tub that did anything but maintain the temp of the same bathwater and I cannot see how any other system could be regarded as efficient in terms of saving water, saving on the water bill, or saving on whatever source of heat one uses. Throwing lukewarm water down the drain while heating cold water to hot and refilling with that...well, even after one day of that you were probably better of just refilling the tub fresh.

Every tub I have seen (old, I know) had a pipe to siphon lukewarm water into the heater, another pipe to pump reheated water back in, and the only way to get water out of the system or the tub was through the drain by pulling the stopper out.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My first apartment in Japan had a bath where you heated the water AFTER you filled up the bath! So a quick shower was out of the question. I know people who still have this system in their house. Add to this the fact that washing machines that can use hot water are almost non-existent and you have a country with some serious plumbing issues! Who cares if the toilet can sing you a song?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Call for help/Call for service

In my home it is known as the "Beer me!" button.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Great points about no hot water available for the washing machine. And I will also add to that that the fact that water pipes are usually outdoors up the wall and on the north side (the least sunny side), meaning great potential for frozen pipes in winter. So lets not pretend like Japan is some plumbing paradise.

Further to this, I believe that no hot water in the washing machine may be a cause, a factor, or at least a reason for the persistence of, atopy in this country. I never saw anything like that until coming to Japan. My theories for this are that certain bacteria are not dying in the cold water and are reinfecting the wearer, and that harsh detergents such as borax are not being thoroughly dissolved, which weakens the skin, especially children's skin. Of course this situation is only exasperated as ( I believe) many Japanese housewives pinch pennies by skimping on the rinse cycle.

Even more than that though, I believe that Japanese bathe their children in water that is much too hot! What that accomplishes is throwing off the balance of skin fauna. Basically good bacteria die and bacteria that is only harmless as long as kept in check wind up flourishing and harming the skin. And once the good bacteria is gone is hard to get back except by maybe by extreme amounts of skin contact with others...but, welcome to hugless, kissless Japan!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Interesting to read people's comments. It looks like my bathtub situation is outside of the norm, sorry. I looked up the system that I have and apparently it's somewhat unusual in Japan because all of our hot water is produced centrally. From thier website:

Varme-24 is a central heating and hot-water supply system for apartment blocks. Hot water is produced in a heat source plant in the basement or on the roof of a building. This network system supplies hot water and heating to each family appartment in the building without the need for boilers or fuel in each appartment, making them safer. Hot water is supplied 24 hours a day to each appartment.

http://www.osaka-techno.com

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it's somewhat unusual in Japan because all of our hot water is produced centrally

M3, it is the norm for other buildings as well not only your place. You can control the temperature of hot water in the washing machine by the same control panel for the bathtub.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese people are not particularly wanting to live in luxury...

This kind of "poor-person's thinking" is worrying.

It is natural and good for people to aspire to better things and a better lifestyle and work towards it.

Aiming high makes the economy work, keeps people in jobs and helps to grow the economy.

If everybody is thinking things like "I don't want betterment, I don't need luxury, I will make do with a poor existence" then it creates a downward cycle that will ultimately wreck the economy.

In any case, the comment is not true, thank goodness.

Look at the housing available today in Japan compared with 40 or even 30 years ago.

Modern mansions (for example) are more spacious, attractively finished and have superior fittings. Japanese people obviously do prefer a more luxurious lifestyle and housing companies are responding to that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

In any case, the comment is not true, thank goodness.

I agree. It was a pretty stupid comment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

12 awesome features of Japanese bathrooms you won’t find in the West

Really? LoL-

  1. Three people can be using the different facilities at the same time

Yeah, & the other two can still hear you taking a dump cause those narrow, paper-thin walled Japanese houses give nobody any decent "privacy" no matter which of the different facilities yo happen to be in.

  1. You sit down to wash yourself before getting into the bath

If you take showers 95% of the time, this makes absolutely no sense.

  1. You can reuse the water for laundry

Disgusting. All those dead skin cells and oily bodily fluid used to "wash" clothes? No thank you.

  1. & 8. Call for help/Call for service

Why would you need any assistance? "Hey- gimmee nuther' beer!!" -is all that's good for.

Interesting article-

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Wet rooms are great. So are washlet toilets. As are washing outside the bath, bathing in the same water, and reusing it for laundry.

The standard Toto/Inax system baths are a bit plastic-y for my liking, and aren't cheap unless you're buying oversupply or deadstock, but you can have a wet room without using one. They push them really hard because they are easy to install in apartments where leaking on the apartment below is a big social no-no. We have a wet room in our house, but it's lined with stone tiles and wood. The tub itself is a Japanese wooden one. The total cost was about the same as a mid range Toto unit bath system. Most builders will try to get you to choose the same as everybody else, but you can easily make a wet room out of natural materials if that is what you want.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I find number 11 to be utterly disgusting.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I'm sure we could all write volumes of the baths and toilets we've had in Japan. My first apartment had no bath and shared toilets (2nd floor pottan benjo). The last house had the fully automated bath. Various things in between.

I know two families who still use a goemon buro, one in its own separate outhouse. Very enjoyable if someone else is looking after the fire. Keeping the water cool enough is more of an issue than keeping it hot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I regret the Japanese mansion's comfort...except for one room. The truth is I never filled the tub in years as I would have been totally scared to bath inside that 'sanisette' (browse for images if that doesn't talk to you). So I just had quick showers (inside the tub with the door wide open to limitate wetting and steaming, read below...) and if I wanted to bath I'd go to sento, fitness club or spa. Every time I enter my sunny bathroom with its 2 windows, constant warmth due to proper heating, real shower, cool decoration ( wood, tiles, glass, paper...whatever you like but not plastic, steel and plastic), green plants, wardrobe, books... I tell myself "So much better than those Japanese humid bunkers.". In years, I've visited 1000+ J-houses (had to comment 'iidesne ... benri desne...'). I've seen only 3 bathrooms with windows (counting one that was an inaka outhouse ofuro), even when windows pre-existed in the building, they had blinded them. Less than a dozen had a decoration that was not fugly plastic. I was shocked to see that even super rich people in luxury houses had bathrooms that look like inside your fridge.

  1. You can get everything wet

Super, but the point is how to get everything dry and not moldy.Having windows is great not only for the light but to control humidity without the need for a complicated ventilltion and drying system (the efficient high tech stuff is installed in the top 1% of J-houses).In my J-bathroom I was fighting the moss, fungi and bacteria with strong detergent, and you have to use aggressive laundry powder to fight smell in clothes if you dry in there. All that is not healthy.

Wonder how many Europeans posted here? Like people that live in apartments

Compare average with average. Multiple equipment used to be seen as a luxury, but no longer. These days, European houses (more than half of inhabitants) tend to have stylish multiple bathrooms and multiple toilets. One per house floor or one for each 2-3 family members is considered basic and you'd be silly to buy a knew house with less. Compared to Japan, there is the space and pipes all over (for central heating), plus DIY equipment is very cheap and easy to find . Nearly everybody is getting that comfort on the continent. In city flats, in old buildingd where space is the issue, you get only 1 bath + 1 toilet or 1 combo, but that's rarely a windowless closet like in Japan. Bathtubs are becoming rarer because people prefer showers (even massage showers with several seats in them, for elderly, it's easier) and when space is scarce, families replace the bath with twin shower cabins and twin sinks.

Reusing bath water for washing machine us a good idea

That was a good idea in 1930. Now, not filling a tub so often and using modern machines (that use small amounts of cold water and mild detergents) is a million time better for environment, budget, health, convenience...

Great points about no hot water available for the washing machine

Yep, J-plumbers make weird things. In my mansion (built in the 70's) in Osaka; there was a hot water pipe and a distinct cold water pipe arriving at the machine's tokonoma. I guess the idea was to choose one or the other at each laundry or stand there to manually mix. But when I took the place, the hot water pipe had been desactivated as the new heater (Paloma from hell) could handle only 3 taps or explode (I chose the first option). So I had extended the infamous wand (that I never used otherwise having no plants to water) and I was filling hot water with it...In 21st century, ahem.

a spray wand in sink

Gadget. Just like washlet, remote controls, tub heaters with thermostat... you can get them for a low price in Europe, it's just most people are not interested. I'm sure her parents could have equipped their house in Canada and they didn't bother. Now if they want to install a nice bathroom by American/African/European standards in Japan, that will cost them the moon.

Three people can be using the different facilities at the same time

In my "all in one", 2 persons can shower together while 2 wash their teeth, a 5th is on the throne and a 6th sits on the chair. That has not happened yet just like there never were 3 persons sharing my J-bath.

  1. You keep the bath water clean

You're missing good fun with bubble baths.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Heh-heh-heh-eh . . . @coskuri- U nailed it Pal!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I find number 11 to be utterly disgusting.

No offense, but maybe you don't know-it-all and you have different bathing habits.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Not sure if anyone watched the video but this article and opinions are done by an elementary school girl. I am not going to sit and debate with a little girl about how she is wrong and has no idea about the rest of the World. Just call it a cute video and go about my day.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not sure if anyone watched the video but this article and opinions are done by an elementary school girl.

LoL, thanks for pointing that out. . . Don't matter, these girls grow up, but their mentality doesn't. They will think this way forever. Look at how they complain that mens' nipples are "sexually harassing" them in their workplace. Grow up already-

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Yes, overall I'll take a Japanese bathroom over my American one.... but I'm real tired of reading about it. At least once a year they extoll the virtues of Japanese toilets and the bathtub / shower in one small area. I like the Japanese but it seems they need to be constantly praised to feel good about themselves. When is the last time you read an article praising things American. Really.... if Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft or Intel were Japanese companies we'd always be hearing about how great they are.... but because they're U.S. companies.... they don't get praise.... the just quietly change the world and make great profits.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@sakurala

"My Canadian home only had 1 bathroom for its 4 bedrooms"

Then your family was highly, highly unusual. I just checked Canada's biggest online real estate directory. Of 7,506 listings in metro Vancouver, a grand total of 12 (!) were 4 bdrm/1 btrm. And about half are slated for tear down (sold for lot, not the building).

Meanwhile, I've researched dozens of listed detached Tokyo homes over the past couple of months. Every single one has... one bathroom.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The emergency rooms in the US are loaded with people paying huge fees because they think crawling in and out of a porcelain bowl to take a shower is a good thing. Those two ingredients, water and porcelain, don't mix very well.

The AMA must be lobbying to keep making porcelain, leg breaking showers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No offense, but maybe you don't know-it-all and you have different bathing habits.

No offense taken. I've always been a clean person, however. I've been in Japan for some time now and I totally follow the bathing customs of the country. I even love the onsens and bathe at them quite regularly. But even if you scrub down before entering a bathtub, the heat of the water causes people to sweat while they're in the tub. If you got a family of at least four all sharing the same bath water, I'd say that water is pretty unfit to wash clothes with-- at least for me.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

But if you put one shirt that has been sweated in in your laundry, the net effect is the same. Do you wash all of your clothes individually? And do you not put soap in your laundry? Or do you not use the rinse cycle?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is perfectly OK and hygienic to wash clothes with 'grey water' as long as you use detergent to wash and clean water for the rinse cycle. In a few years, when water is more expensive and rarer than oil, you'll all be longing for the days when you had enough grey water to do the laundry.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Spray wand in the basin- no this traditional sort of house does not have that on any level.

There are apartments where the bath, toilet etc is just jammed so you can't easily use at the same time.

Can spray your water everywhere- if you want more mould. Only our bath area is tiled. Melanite and fibre board in other areas- don't think they'd last long if you sprayed water everywhere. Our bath is sophisticated but doesn't have 7&8- maybe an option that isn't enabled.

12- definitely not- always hang outside or inside our living room if it rains. 9- is good but then its small and has annoying protuberances that Western bath designers equally fail with having taps.

This should be titled some possibly good features of a great deal of Japanese bathrooms.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To the people saying reusing the bath water to wash you clothes is a good thing (or voting me down) can you explain to me how you manage not to sweat in the bath? Not to allow dead skin cells to fall off (they are constantly fall off you a shower doesn't just remove them), not to allow hair to fall out not to allow oils in your body to come out? Then multiple that by the number of family members... then wash your clothes with it?

Sure in a dream world the water is clean, but in reality it is disgusting water.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

@gogogo

As many people have pointed, the "ofuro" water is used only in the first cycle, when you use detergent. The rinse cycle is done using fresh tap water.

But, in first place the reason to use the "ofuro" water was in order to economize, not to waste the water resource... you know being earth friendly. The use of that water, true to be said, in some cases (in some house holds?) resulted in that the clothing ended up with some odors, reason why if you go to buy detergent you will see that there are many products for specific use of "ofuro" water, even if there is no particular writing on the label, most detergent can handle the used water "problems". Also, do you think that the all sweated, dirt smirked and who-know-what-else stained clothes make some sort of differentiation between tap water and ofuro water?

Finally, the smells that get cringed on clothes may be caused by other reason (not dried properly, not enough sun light, etc.).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

To the people saying reusing the bath water to wash you clothes is a good thing (or voting me down) can you explain to me how you manage not to sweat in the bath? Not to allow dead skin cells to fall off (they are constantly fall off you a shower doesn't just remove them), not to allow hair to fall out not to allow oils in your body to come out? Then multiple that by the number of family members... then wash your clothes with it?

Can you explain how you manage not to sweat when wearing the clothes that you are in turn washing? Or how you manage to not get dead skin cells on those clothes? Or not allow hairs to get onto your clothes or oils from your body? Because once you put any clothes that have these things into the water, they 'contaminate' the water in the same way. And the reason your clothes still end up clean is because of the detergent, and the rinse cycles.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Can you explain how you manage not to sweat when wearing the clothes that you are in turn washing? Or how you manage to not get dead skin cells on those clothes? Or not allow hairs to get onto your clothes or oils from your body? Because once you put any clothes that have these things into the water, they 'contaminate' the water in the same way. And the reason your clothes still end up clean is because of the detergent, and the rinse cycles.

Well if we follow your applesauce then the was would be doubly disgusting. I'll choose the lesser of the two evils.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Do you not use detergent?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Honestly, I do miss some of the features of Japanese Bathrooms, most noticeably their water heater system. MUUUCH more efficient than here in the USA. I also miss the spray wand.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I must be missing something detergent doesn't clean the water it cleans the dirty from clothes.

If you are washing with sweaty / oily water no amount of detergent is going to separate the sweat from other any other water, once it's mixed it's mixed forever. It's like trying to separate the chocolate from chocolate milk.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I must be missing something detergent doesn't clean the water it cleans the dirty from clothes.

Exactly. You say you are missing something, except you said it right there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Jeff: It really depends on what is classified as a bathroom though. A lot of places have 1.5 baths....which can mean another toilet or full out bathroom. My house in Japan has 3 in that case...a men's urinal, a toilet and a shower room. I also think most newer houses in Japan have 2 toilets, one for each floor.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A lot of baths have a shower head installed on a flexible hose... pretty much the same as the 'wand' mentioned in the article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

9. You can control the bath from the kitchen

This makes for a good prank on whoever is in the bath...............

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This makes for a good prank on whoever is in the bath....

The bathroom control panel has priority over kitchen's, so you can't.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I remember my first apartment here. My bathroom had none of these. None. Zip. Zero. It was an older building and the toilet and the sink were in the same wet-room as the shower. Yeah. The drain for the sink was the same drain for the tub and shower and it flooded every. freaking. time.

So whenever I wanted to use the toilet I was ankle deep in water while standing or sitting, or when I wanted to brush my teeth, it flooded the little capsule room floor. It had no electric controls, the toilet was western style but had the dangling-from-the-ceiling-chain to flush it and that chain always came loose.

Misery.

And then I said screw this, I refuse an apartment that's older than a few years cause I ain't living like I'm a prisoner of war in the middle ages anymore and now I got all of these features... Aaaand i don't use half of them maybe! Ha! Still, no more floods.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Another Japanese are superior article. This time the same old reason that's flogged to death every year, Japanese bathrooms are superior reasoning.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

4 is a good one and some of the newer home designs in NA also has that now. 9 is a good way to play practical joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tina - actually my kitchen control is the master control - not that anyone has ever tried a prank anyway.

Back to bathroom designs / layout.

5 years the original bathroom in my house had seen better days. Tiles cracking, dampness in the walls above the tiles. I wanted to renovate in a retro-art deco style with brass and porcelain taps, clawfoot bathtub, black & white tiles etc...

I couldn't get a suitable quote for anything close to my budget and the builder said he would cut even more off if we chose a "unit bath" - he had deals with all his regular suppliers including Yamaha. Yes our bathroom is a Yamaha. I have had a few Yamahas before, with my favorite being an XJ900. ha, ha!

So we did. Up to 10 workers came gutted the old bathroom and fully installed the new system in 4 days. A deliciously ergo-nomic long tub, great heating, drying functions, all the mods mentioned by others, great water proof speakers and i-pod control (connection is outside the room), non-slip floor, easy cleaning, excellent waterproof led lights, kept our big window (unit was altered to accomodate it) etc etc.

What I originally opposed I've now come to enjoy. It may not grace the pages of a Vogue Interior magazine, but certainly makes for easy living.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gogogo: detergents neutralize "dirt" regardless if from the clothes or the used water. So YES, it clean the ufuro water. Where do you think the water you use come from?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

browny1 - yes kitchen control is the master control, but bathroom control has "priority" button, doesn't it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually, all these things can be had in a house in NA, but they aren't either necessary and most of the examples about bathing are of no cultural significance in the West.

Most people shower in the NA rarely using the tub, except in the case of bathing small chldren. If you are going to be in the tub for a stupidly long period of time so that the water will cool, almost all jetted tubs sold in the NA, as well as some soaking tubs, have a "stay warm" feature.

Most houses built in NA over the last 50 years have a separate "powder room" (toilet) and other toilets are often in a separate rooms within the bathroom.

If you really need a pull out spray head faucet in the bathroom (can't think of a single reason one would), they are found in nearly every kitchen in NA and can be put in the bathroom if wanted.

Next.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I love the deep, heat as you go tubs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Poor harvey pekar. Misery indeed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Harvey

I spent a month in a place with the same 'system'. It was....strange.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I had shared this video on my fb page a few days before it showed up here. At the time it never occurred to me to debate the different merits of her 12 reasons. It's just a cute video talking about her life in Japan. Watched it with my daughter and my take on it was like, "Look, another mixed Japanese/Gaijin girl and her English is so good!" She has a few other vids on youtube that are cute as well.

As far as Japanese vs Western toilets, I'll just say that our facilities in Japan beat my folks' facilities in America hands down. Washlet toilets are awesome, and my parents' shower is inside a narrow bath tub with a non-removable shower head mounted very high. The resulting angle makes one perform some serious contortions in order to rinse the soap out of your backside.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@choiwaruoyaji

Aiming high makes the economy work, keeps people in jobs and helps to grow the economy.

Yes.That's why a lot of us think capitalism sucks.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's just a cute video talking about her life in Japan. Watched it with my daughter and my take on it was like, "Look, another mixed Japanese/Gaijin girl and her English is so good!" She has a few other vids on youtube that are cute as well.

No no, you're wrong wrong wrong. It's ANOTHER video telling us how Japan is so awesome, touting Japanese superiority, and blah blah blah. Don't you know that?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

PLEASE, people.... the girl is Canadian, having moved to Japan only recently. It says so right in the article. She's also 9 years old so why are we splitting hairs about this and that? I actually think the girl is pretty smart to make such observations. As Strangerland points out, overly-sensitive anyone? You're picking on a 9 year-old Canadian girl for making the best of what probably was a pretty stressful move and adjustment from Canada to Japan at that age.

...And the bathwater for laundry is perfectly fine. Your clothes are dirtier than the bathwater. Like 20 other people mentioned already, that's why you use detergent to do the laundry even when you use tap water for the washing machine. What matters is you don't rinse with the bath water. Very environmentally friendly if you ask me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@black sabbath,

I know right! To this day, I don't know how I had girlfriends as long as I did! It still makes one friend gag just thinking of it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Has anyone seen a bathroom call system with a built in intercom instead of just a 'COME HERE' button? That would be awesome.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Has anyone seen a bathroom call system with a built in intercom instead of just a 'COME HERE' button? That would be awesome.

My last place and current place both have those. The sound quality isn't so hot though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For crying out loud, why generalize so much? In Canada some people live in big houses with 2, 3, or 4 bathrooms. Millions of people live in small houses or apartments with 1 bathroom. In India millions of people have no bathrooms or toilets at all.

Japanese baths are different. Japanese prefer to wash first and soak in clean water; Westerners wash in the bath and soak in the supposedly dirty water. Some people prefer to take showers rather a bath. Some people prefer a bath to a shower.

Japanese toilets are much superior to Western toilets, no contest.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Love the water fall shower head and bidets most. I found bidets first while visited at Japan and the experience was horrible. But it's a great way of saving trees by avoiding toilet papers...

Interested to check out my blog? Visit at: http://simpletoilet.com/best-rain-shower-heads-reviews/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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